Call for Papers/Participation: Word and Image

Word and Image: Making Connections Across Disciplines and Across Institutions

7 June 2024, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, London

This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together doctoral and post-doctoral researchers from The Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London through a focus on Word-Image relations. The conference is inspired by the announcement of the ten-year strategic partnership between The Courtauld and KCL in 2022.

Whilst KCL does not have an History of Art department, and The Courtauld does not have a literature department, there are many researchers at both institutions whose work is interdisciplinary and explores word-image relationships. The theme of Word/Image offers an ideal opportunity to bring together researchers from The Courtauld and KCL to network, hear about each other’s research, and learn from each other.

The event will offer a collaborative space in which to illuminate the diverse approaches to word and image studies, emphasising the importance of methodology. Word and image intersect frequently in the work of many scholars today, but the ways in which this intersection occurs are multiple and varied. Scholars will have the opportunity to present how their research brings together text and visual culture, highlighting the points of contact between the two disciplines. The conference therefore transcends the study of art history alone, appealing to multiple disciplines, including but not limited to modern languages, film, literature and history. As a result, the event aims to foreground word and image not as distinct sites of independent interpretation, but as contrastable and comparable spaces of enquiry, striving to dismantle the longstanding hierarchy between written word and visual culture. Through the innately collaborative nature of word and image studies, we hope to create an event that is not only interdisciplinary, but is cross-period, cross-department and inter-institutional.


We invite doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in humanities subjects at The Courtauld and KCL to submit papers for a conference centring on Word/Image studies at The Courtauld’s Vernon Square Campus on 7 June 2024. Papers should be twenty minutes long and may be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. Each panel will be followed by a chaired Q&A in which speakers can respond to any questions the audience may have about their papers.

Papers should focus on word-image relationships and we welcome papers from scholars from all disciplines, as long as the research promotes interdisciplinary literary and art historical research. Furthermore, we define word-image relationships in the broadest sense and aim to bring together scholars whose work spans a wide range of time periods and geographical regions.

Proposal submissions

Please submit the following materials, along with the full name and institutional email address of the participant and information about any access requirements:

  • A paper abstract of no more than 300 words.
  • An academic CV of no more than 2 sheets of A4.


By: 11pm (23:00) GMT Monday 26 February 2024

Participants will be contacted by mid March 2024.

Funding/Access statement

  • We welcome the participation of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers from all backgrounds and will do our best to ensure that the event is accessible to all attendees.
  • The event is London-based with the participation of London-based institutions. However, if you require travel expenses, we will do our best to make funding available upon request.
  • Food and drink will be provided throughout the day for all participants. The event will also be followed by drinks and a dinner for participants. The dinner will be an opportunity to network and discuss research in a more informal setting.